Just one day before the planned 25th of Bahman (VDay) protests in Iran, the State Department created a Twitter account, @USAdarfarsi.
And now, as videos (posted below) of the protests in Iran are starting to spread on the web, it’s unclear how influential the feed (or any outside push) will eventually be, but the department’s inaugural tweet reads: “US State Dept recognizes historic role of social media among Iranians. We want to join in your conversations.”
The Iranian government, having learned a hard lesson from the 2009 protests, where Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube allowed citizen journalists to share their stories with the rest of the world, is said to have prepared for news of the 25th of Bahman protest by blocking the word “Bahman” from internet searches; hoping to make it difficult for people to coordinate protest-related information and plans.
Egyptian-American and Google marketing executive, Wael Ghonim, who some reports claim was the main organizer of the February, 2011 protests that led to Mubarak’s resignation, traveled to Egypt to physically partake in the realignment of his birth-country’s evolution. Whereas, Google’s resident Iranian-American and “Senior Advisor to Office of the CEO and Founders”, Omid Kordestani, doesn’t even bother protesting the words, “Persian Gulf” being omitted from Google Maps. (When did Ahmadinejad become the ideation guy for Google?)
Perhaps Iranians are missing a “Ghonim” of their own?
The 2009 protests in Iran and Egypt’s Tahrir Square revolt against Mubarak do share similarities, but there are differences between the two countries that ultimately play major roles in how things can turn out, that need to be considered before judgment is placed on the effectiveness of the Iranian people’s plight for living a life without fear.
While Egypt’s economic situation is said to be worse off than Iran’s, the bigger, more crucial topical difference between being a protester in Iran vice Egypt, is the extent of brutal force and violence said countries are willing to use on their citizens: As Neda Agha Soltan’s far too early departure proved to us all, Iran is not Egypt…but if anyone can understand what the Egyptians are going through, it’s the Iranians…We just hope the Egyptians have a better replacement plan lined up.
It’s most likely going to be a tough and complicated struggle ahead, but we maintain solid hope and see Iran’s future as bright and capable as its past.